Sugar Club owner's Manhattan style penthouse with 860 sq ft rooftop garden
Twenty years ago developer David Roden acquired the old red brick Crowe Wilson textile factory building off Dublin's Clanbrassil Terrace.
He called in architect Mary Donohue and announced plans to remodel the factory as a true Manhattan-style warehouse apartment complex. The news generated a huge buzz in Dublin at the time.
Because although there's a long tradition throughout capital cities of converting raw defunct industrial buildings into swish edgy homes, it almost never happened in Ireland. Such famous examples as Manhattan's Factory, the dual home/studio of Warhol or the tv film set converted Los Angeles warehouse renowned from the hit comedy series New Girl, are still the heady stuff of foreign glossies.
The obstacles have been Ireland's archaic planning regimes and zoning laws and the developers themselves. The former make it extremely difficult to convert a complex from industrial use to residential, particularly if located in the wrong purpose zone. And when Irish developers get hold of an industrial building with character, they either knock the whole lot down and start anew, or else strip out every ounce of industrial character before installing wall-to-wall identikit pads of diminutive dimensions.
The Warehouse however is the real deal. With an emphasis on open plan spaces, designers Helen Roden and Joe Ensko ensured that original factory features from the 1930s building were protected and incorporated, including polished solid oak and parquet floors, oak bannister rails and industrial steel window frames.
Most apartments have two entrances with one via an exterior glass elevator from a central courtyard. Some have deck sized terraces, capable of hosting a substantial soiree.
Ground floor apartments (around 1,000 sq ft) sold from the equivalent of around €200k with the spacious penthouses (up to 2,400 sq ft) selling for around €650k. Roden's Warehouse delivered on every promise and set an example which sadly, was never followed.
In its 20 years it has proven to be a hive of Dublin based movers and shakers including fashion designer Jen Kelly, PR queen Caroline Kennedy, nightclub boss Nicky Toppin and Tipperary Crystal owners Robbie and Karen Scanlan.
It was in 1999 too that entrepreneur Nicky Toppin achieved a similar departure on Dublin's night scene when he opened the Sugar Club - a plush boutique nightclub designed to enhance the enjoyment of big bands on stage. A converted cinema, with red velveteen seats, it could also have been straight out of a Manhattan side street. In essence it was a club version of The Warehouse. Since then The Sugar Club has been a mainstay of Dublin events and nightlife.
Now Toppin has placed his penthouse property on the market through agent Owen Reilly seeking €995,000. Toppin's can be seen from the ground, marked by a fluttering stone eagle, an ironic take from his eclectic collection of garden deck statuary.
He has 860 sq ft of rooftop space here - almost the equivalent floor space of an average family home upstairs and down
And it is this huge roof garden which sets this home apart. The views take in the spires of St Patrick's and Christchurch, the old Central Bank and City Hall. In the evenings, there's the waft of hops from the Guinness brewery.
It's a duplex, laid out over two floors with almost 1,999 sq ft of space - almost twice the size of an average Dublin home. Original factory features include the steel windows and the rich herringbone parquet floors. The decor is contemporary with a touch of eclectic classical. The accommodation includes a south-facing living room, sitting room, an open-plan dining/kitchen with pantry and two double bedrooms with master ensuite and a bathroom.
For upmarket buyers with not quite no much to spend, Robbie and Karen Scanlan are also selling their penthouse at No34 through Gallagher Quigley for €750,000. This duplex also has circa 2,000 sq ft on two levels, but has a more average sized outdoor balcony area, the difference between the properties.
Dublin 8 is to benefit from the massive 12.5 acre James Gate Quarter development envisaging homes, hotels, offices and retail development on a scale not seen since the IFSC or Temple Bar.
PentHouse (No36) The Warehouse Clanbrassil Terrace, Dublin 8 Asking price: €995,000
Agent: Owen Reilly (01) 677 7100